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The Boy Who Loved a Tree (standard:drama, 1560 words)
Author: Robert G MoonsAdded: Jun 24 2013Views/Reads: 3104/1094Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A boy and his parents make regular rest stops on their way to the boy's grandparents. Over the course of several years, the boy learns about a maple tree, nature, and life. (Age 10+)
 



The Boy Who Loved a Tree By Robert G. Moons (For ages 10+) 

This is a story I've never told anyone, until now. I'm sure we all have
stories within us that are left untold for one reason or another. 
Perhaps it's a story that brings back too many painful memories. In my 
case, I always thought my story was silly and childish, and best left 
in my childhood memories. It shocks me to think my days of life, to 
date, outweigh my days remaining. Now that I am older, I have had more 
time to reflect on my past. But the more I think about this chapter of 
my life, the more I am convinced this story is not silly but, rather, 
sublime. 

When I was a small boy, my parents and I would visit my grandparents at
least once or twice a month. With my Dad at the wheel of the family 
car, we would take the two-hour journey on a Sunday morning. My Dad 
always took a short break at the halfway point to our destination. He 
needed to stretch his legs – the reason for the stop he often gave – 
but, I now know it was because of an old leg wound.  My Dad never 
talked much about the war, or anything related to it. 

At the halfway point, there was a rest stop. It was a typical stop,
designed for the road's travelers. The curved road came off the 
highway, at the centre of which was a small, concrete building with 
restrooms, vending machines, and metal racks containing various tourist 
flyers, booklets, and a free local newspaper. 

Not far from this building, about half a dozen picnic tables were
randomly placed. We rarely saw anyone use them, so my parents had their 
choice. We always made use of the same table, the one closest to the 
edge of the forest, under a tall and broad maple tree. I remember my 
Dad telling me the tree had been growing on this spot long before my 
grandparents had even been born. That fact captivated me beyond 
measure. Over the course of several years, that single maple tree 
became a source of amusement for me during our many rest stops. It was 
only much later in my life, having reflected, that I became more aware 
of its full worth. 

The winter months were the most forgettable for me. It was too cold for
picnics or even sitting on the tables. The maple tree was leafless and 
virtually colourless. For a child of my age, my Dad explained it simply 
as ‘the tree was asleep'. We never stayed long in the colder months. We 
used the rest stop's facilities; my Dad stretched his legs inside the 
building, and sometimes my Mom would buy me a candy bar from a vending 
machine. Soon, we were once again on the highway. 

In the spring, the maple tree ‘woke up'. Small green-yellow buds quickly
turned into broad, green leaves, and the tree would once again come to 
full, lush life.  By the second spring, I was old enough to climb up 
onto its thick lower branches (with some help from my Dad who gave me a 
boost). I spent many of our 20-minute stops in that tree, sitting on 
its branches and watching the local wildlife; which consisted mostly of 
brown squirrels and various birds. There was the occasional chipmunk, 
and a couple of times we saw some deer. I loved sitting in that tree. 

The summer days were often hot and sometimes very humid. On such days,
the shade of the tree provided much needed relief from the Sun's 
burning rays. It was a cooler shade that no umbrella could match. In my 
young eyes, this alone would have been enough for its reason to be. It 
was only much later that I learned trees – as do all plants – produced 
oxygen. Combined, in essence, they became the lungs of this blue-green 
world. 

Autumn was always the most interesting time at the rest stop. More than
half the trees of the forest would change colour, the maple tree being 
the most colourful of all. The maple became like a living canvas, with 
a variety of vibrant orange, red, and yellow leaves. The tree displayed 
a natural beauty that made the paintings by the masters pale in 
comparison. 

It was also in the autumn that the tree provided, what I called, ‘little
helicopters'. As a boy, I often played with them, one of nature's 
natural toys. I didn't know it at the time, but they were seeds. Each 
seed with its own ‘wing', when ready, would detach from the tree and 
fly away, taken by the wind. These ‘wings' enabled the seeds to travel 
far from the tree, to land in random spots, and begin a new cycle of 


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